A recently published study indicating the anti-parasitic ivermectin worked well as a prophylactic against the virus that causes COVID-19 should help sway critics of the drug, according to Dr. Pierre Kory, president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC).
“That should convince any naysayer,” Kory told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders.” “What they found was astounding.”
The Brazilian city of Itajaí launched a program that gave ivermectin to any residents that wanted any. The period that was studied was from July 7, 2020, to December 2, 2020.
Researchers found that the program, which had over 100,000 residents participate, was linked to a 44 percent drop in COVID-19 cases.
Approximately 3.7 percent of ivermectin users contracted the illness during the trial period, compared to 6.6 percent of residents who didn’t take the drug.
The program was also associated with a statistically significant decrease in hospitalization and mortality.
The peer-reviewed study was published in Cureus on Jan. 15.
“Ivermectin MUST be considered as an option, particularly during outbreaks,” Dr. Flavio Cadegiani, one of the study’s authors and a founding member of FLCCC, told The Epoch Times in an email.
FLCCC focuses on early treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The group has recommended ivermectin since early 2020.
Kory said the lack of reporting on the study despite it being peer-reviewed highlights how some scientific developments are ignored by many media outlets and scientists.
“You would think this would lead major headlines everywhere. And yet, nothing. And this is not new, this censorship of this highly effective science and evidence around repurposed drugs. The censoring of it, it’s not new, it’s just getting more and more absurd. And it has to stop,” he said.
Studies on ivermectin against COVID-19 have shown mixed results, with some being associated with no or little benefit and others suggesting a strong benefit. It’s been widely used in India and other countries as a preventative measure, but in the United States and much of Europe many official health care bodies recommend against its use or do not endorse it.
Ivermectin has been approved for certain uses by the Food and Drug Administration, but not for use against COVID-19. That means doctors can prescribe it off-label.
The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 treatment guidelines panel currently says that there is not enough evidence to advise either for or against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19. It does not address its potential use as a prophylactic.
While the new study was celebrated by some, others questioned the findings and pointed out that the conflicts of interest disclosures show both Cadegiani and another author have received funding from or contracted with Vitamedic, a company that manufactures ivermectin.
Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an Australian epidemiologist, for instance, called it “a fairly simple example of observational research that you’d do on routine medical data” but alleged the controls for confounding factors such as occupation and risk factors were “pretty inadequate given the purpose.”
Cadegiani said the criticism was unfounded, saying he wasn’t convinced before the study that ivermectin would work as a preventative medicine and that researchers controlled for “all relevant factors,” including comorbidities, age, sex, and race.
“Their inability to focus on the data provided by the study itself is … proof of the extreme high quality of the study,” the doctor said, adding later that “To us, this is the best observational study on COVID-19 to date, with a power almost equivalent to a huge randomized clinical trial.”
The researchers plan on publishing multiple additional papers regarding the program, including papers on the biochemical effects of ivermectin and the effectiveness of the drug in preventing hospitalization.